FSU Men Open Exhibition Season With Win

FSU's Kenny Brown drives with the ball at Aquinas (Photo by Rob Bentley)
FSU's Kenny Brown drives with the ball at Aquinas (Photo by Rob Bentley)

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Grand Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's basketball team began its 2010-11 season on a winning note as the Bulldogs registered a decisive 69-39 exhibition victory over Aquinas on Thursday (Oct. 28) evening in Grand Rapids.

The visiting Bulldogs built a 15-point halftime advantage and opened the second half on a 15-4 run en route to the triumph inside Aquinas' new $12 million Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center, which opened this week.

The Bulldogs limited the Saints to only 22.6% (12-53) shooting, including an 0-of-14 effort from beyond the three-point arc.  FSU also forced 16 turnovers in its first action of the campaign.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs converted 40.3% (27-67) of their field goal tries and had two players reach double-digit scoring.

Senior forward/center Justin Keenan, who was recently named the Division II Bulletin Preseason National Player of the Year, led the way for FSU with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds in a double-double effort.  Sophmore forward Daniel Sutherlin chipped in with 18 points in the contest.

The Bulldogs played 13 different players in the game with nine seeing 13 minutes or more of action.  The total included seven returing letterwinners and six newcomers.

Ferris owned a 55-40 rebounding edge and came up with 18 offensive boards compared to only nine for the Saints.  FSU turned the ball over only 10 times and also came up with 10 steals and five blocked shots.

The Bulldogs converted only three-of-12 (.188) three-point tries and 12-of-23 (.522) free throws while Aquinas sank 15-of-20 (.750) attempts from the charity stripe.

Aquinas was paced by Sandy Underwood's eight points.  The Saints also received seven points from Zach Eddy.

Behind Keenan's performance, the Bulldogs outscored Aquinas 34-16 in the paint and they also held a 15-6 edge in second chance scoring.

This year marked the second consecutive year the Bulldogs and Saints squared off in exhibition play following last year's 66-56 FSU win in a game played at Greenville (Mich.) High School (10/29/09).

Thursday's matchup was the first of two exhibitions for the Bulldogs this season as FSU next visits one of college basketball's most storied venues to square off against one of college basketball's all-time winningest programs in the Indiana Hoosiers on Monday, Nov. 8, at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind.  The game is slated for a 7 p.m. (ET) tipoff.

Ferris hosts longtime West Michigan foe Calvin in its first official contest on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. (ET) inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids.